Artifact, the Valve collectible card game based off the Dota 2 universe, is currently in a very unusual state. First of all, the game’s developers have put the game “on hold” to examine the root issues that caused it to bomb so badly. Secondly, its failure has become a bit of a meme, and that’s spread to the game’s presence on Twitch.
After prominent streamers pointed out how barren the Artifact section was, members of the Twitch community took advantage of the quiet and turned the section into something that ranged from bizarre to disturbing. Anyone interested in seeing the joke streams for themselves should be warned that there is some extremely NSFW or disturbing content being displayed as well.
If you were to check out Artifact on Twitch throughout the weekend, you’d find viewings of Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars, documentaries on Nazi Germany, games of League of Legends, and various anime. These viewings ranged from the silly all the way to the deeply disturbing. This included video of the graphic Christchurch mosque shooting, which was streamed for over 20 minutes before being shut down by Twitch.
While the Christchurch shooting stream was removed, Artifact’s Twitch section is still completely overrun by users streaming whatever they like. Among these streams was hardcore pornography and other NSFW content.
Some of these channels were just streaming media like popular movies, or cute animal GIFs. Other users chose to get far more experimental with it, like this video that showed a clip of a Nigerian film, with an actor asking “Why are you running?” The clip, which has been popularized through Vine and YouTube, would play once, twice, then four times, and so on until the clip had been broadcast 349,525 times in one minute in a horrifying cacophony of chaos.
Perhaps the most unusual part of this is that in the late hours of Sunday night, one streamer actually loaded up Artifact and played the card game for an audience of a few hundred curious fans.
Many of these streams seem to be taking basic attempts to avoid being banned, such as using titles like “Artifact DLC,” or “in queue for Artifact’ ” As this trend rages on, it serves as a fascinating reminder of the potential power — for both good and bad — of Twitch.
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